A new baby is coming. Perhaps, you worry over the fact that there are now more kids than bedrooms in your home. Or, maybe, you just want to strike a bond between your children at an early age, so room-sharing is your solution. Whatever is your reason, moving siblings into the same room is both a significant milestone and a daunting task.
Making the right timing and preparations, and keeping the kids’ safety are only some of the things that come up to mind when planning this transition. But we need not lose sleep over. There are always a means to an end, and we always find ways especially if it involves our children.
For kids room-sharing success, here are some tips that you need to consider.
The Right Timing
There’s no such perfect age as to when you start moving your kids into the same room. But long time parents will advise you to wait until your baby can sleep through the night without its nighttime demands to go for the transition.
For sure, you don’t want to disrupt your older child’s sleep when baby gets hungry in the middle of the night. Instead of striking a bond between them, it might be the ugly start that big brother or sister will look at his younger brother or sister as a problem.
So, even if there’s no right age, there’s a right time. But, if you still want to go for the transition despite it all, just make sure to enter the room to provide baby’s demands without disturbing his older brother.
Talk with The Older Sibling
Before you start planning for the design of the kid’s room, speak with the older sibling about the idea of room-sharing ahead of time. You don’t know what your older child thinks about it. If he doesn’t like the idea, it’s ideal to ease the reluctant child into the notion of room-sharing.
The best thing to do is to include him or her in the planning process. Inclusion makes the kid feel like he or she is taking a big part, and that will encourage him or her to accept the idea of room-sharing with his or her younger sibling.
Keep It Safe
It’s always a temptation to hurry the transition process. But it’s important to take safety considerations first to keep your kids safe and sound in a new sleeping environment. It is especially crucial if the older sibling is still a toddler or a preschooler.
At this age, their fun-time includes climbing into a crib and playing toys. It should worry us because rough-playing may mean landing on top of their younger sibling and hurting him or her. Also, a piece of food or a small toy in the room is a potential choking hazard and not worth the risk.
For your peace of mind, talk to the older sibling about dos and don’ts when sharing a room with his or her younger sibling. You can also consider installing a camera to monitor their movements.
Perhaps, your expectation of the transition is that your children will sleep quickly and soundly at their first night together. But that’s not always the reality
Changing your children’s sleeping routine is never an easy task. From experience, it can take a few weeks or a month for siblings to adjust to their new sleeping routine. But don’t worry, humans are made to adapt. They will sleep soundly, again. What parents should do is to stay consistent.
When kids share the same bedroom, it’s tempting to make a similar sleeping schedule for them. But you need to keep in mind that children have different sleeping needs and bedtime routine. So, it’s important to provide for them according to each of their needs.
For instance, if your older child is like a night owl and likes to stay up late than his or her younger sibling, it’s important to cater to the latter’s need first and use the extra time for your older child later. If it’s the other way around, you can put to sleep first your older child and make time for the younger one later. To succeed in this, make a bedtime routine for each of them such as story reading, cuddling, or singing a lullaby, in a room other than their shared room to minimize disruptions.
Set the Perfect Sleeping Space
There are many ways to turn the shared room for your kids into an ideal sleeping environment. Here are those:
Find the Right Temperature
Room temperature has a significant impact on a child’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. That’s why it’s important to invest energy in this area.
Experts suggest that the ideal temperature for sleeping for children is 65 degrees. The reason behind this standard number for a sound sleep is that the internal body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, and decreases slightly during the night. If your room temperature is too warm or too cold, there’s a chance that it can interfere to their sleeping, causing restlessness and unnecessary waking in the middle of the night.
De-Clutter the Room
For your children to have a good night sleep, it is essential that their room is clean and free of clutter.
A messy and disorganized room not only reminds children of failing to put away their stuff, but it also slows their transition to relaxation and sleep by triggering their sensory input. Hence, a clean and organized room is necessary because it has a refreshing and calming effect which makes your children get a good night sleep.
For this, it is important to encourage your children to clean up the room after their play. In this way, you not only instill responsibility in your kids, but you also prepare them for a clutter-free sleep.
Dark is Better for Sleep
Children’s taste of bedtime lightings vary. Some of them cannot sleep while the lights are turned off. Others want to have an overhead, hall, or bedside light turned on. For sure, all parents want to satisfy their demands of extra light to allay their fears of the dark. But too much light may be to blame for your children’s staying up late.
The explanation: we have this thing called pineal gland in our brain that releases the hormone melatonin which triggers sleepiness. And dark environment helps release this hormone in our body, making us sleep easier and better. It’s also why electronic gadgets is a big no-no if you want your children to get a good night sleep. Not only those electronic devices excites sensory input, but the light that comes from them inhibits the release of melatonin.
For your children to sleep better in a shared room, turn the lights off and put the gadgets away.
Siblings sharing a bedroom is undeniably a beautiful sight to behold. Not only that it solidifies the bond between them, but it is also practical for families who have a small home. But before going for it, you need to follow first the tips mentioned above to get the ultimate room-sharing success.